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Friday June 14, 2024

European powers seek action against Iran at IAEA meeting despite US concerns

By Reuters
May 30, 2024
The Iranian flag flutters in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) organisations headquarters in Vienna, Austria, June 5, 2023. — Reuters
The Iranian flag flutters in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) organisation's headquarters in Vienna, Austria, June 5, 2023. — Reuters

VIENNA/PARIS: Britain, France and Germany have circulated a draft resolution against Iran ahead of the UN nuclear watchdog’s board meeting next week and appear determined to push it despite opposition from their US ally, three diplomats said on Wednesday.

Reuters reported on May 24 that the US and its European partners, known as the E3, were divided over whether to confront Iran with Washington fearing such a resolution could risk further escalation in the region and rock the boat ahead of November’s US election.

“We are pushing the Americans, but they remain stuck in the thinking that nothing should be done to escalate with Iran,” said a senior European official. “That has achieved nothing so far and we believe we need to show firmness now.”

Tehran bristles at such resolutions and often responds by stepping up its activities.

It is 18 months since the International Atomic Energy Agency’s board last passed a resolution against Iran, ordering it to cooperate urgently with a years-long IAEA investigation into uranium particles found at three undeclared sites, indicating the possibility of nuclear activity.

While the number of sites in question has been narrowed to two, Iran still has not explained the traces. The number of other problems in Iran has also risen including Tehran barring many of the IAEA’s top uranium-enrichment experts on the inspection team.